Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Wheely good time for Echuca-Moama riders

Echuca-Moama cyclists Charlotte Thompson, Hannah Thompson and Edie Haley did well at the Melbourne Cup on Wheels Carnival in Melbourne.

LUKE MCMANUS December 24, 2013 4:26am

Echuca-Moama cyclists (from left) Charlotte Thompson, Hannah Thompson and Edie Haley.

Winners were grinners at the Melbourne Cup on Wheels Carnival at the weekend.

Four members of the Echuca-Moama Cycling Club competed at the annual carnival inside Darebin International Sports Centre velodrome on Saturday, while getting the chance to rub shoulders with the best of Australian cycling.

Edie Haley and sister combination Charlotte and Hannah Thompson performed strongly across their respective age groups during the morning’s junior program, while Neil Thomson took plenty of experience away with him after the senior D grade finals on Saturday night.

Edie, 13, enjoyed ultimate success during her meet, taking out her under 15 handicap final.

Riding off 160m, Edie produced a spirited performance to finish the 1km race in a time of 1 minute and 15 seconds, holding off record holders and state-level cyclists Georgia Cummings (scratch) and Alana Field (10m) from Carnegie-Caulfield Cycling Club.

It was the final event in her three-race program, claiming a fourth and fifth placing in her 2000m scratch races.

‘‘I was really happy with my results especially in the final,’’ Edie said.

‘‘Both Georgia and Alana hold it was nice to beat them considering they’re in my age group and I race against them quite a bit.

‘‘It was exciting as there was a good crowd and I like competing at DISC — the track is better and a lot faster to ride on compared to our home track or other country tracks.’’

Charlotte, 14, finished third in her under 17 scratch event to then follow up with a bronze medal in the handicap final.

Starting six back off 55m, Charlotte made up plenty of ground during the six-lap race to claim a podium finish, narrowly defeated by Carnegie-Caulfield’s Emma Chilton (60m) and Brunswick’s Greta Curran (70m).

Hannah, 9, produced encouraging results in what was her first meet at the DISC velodrome.

In the combined under 11/13 classification and against much older opposition, Hannah claimed a courageous ninth place in the 2000m scratch event after recovering from an earlier fall.

The carnival was held in conjunction with the 2014 Australian Madison Championship, which featured some of the country’s best men and women cyclists.

Echuca-Moama’s local talent caught up with the likes of two-time Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares and Olympic bronze medallist Shane Perkins.

Meares, who took out the women’s sprint final, signed Hannah’s pink bike, apparently raising its value according to the young star: ‘‘It’s probably worth about $1million dollars now,’’ she said.

The trio, along with their Echuca-Moama teammates, will now look to the coming Christmas Cycling Carnival, which kicks off in Horsham on Friday.

The series stretches across four days of competition, with Bendigo (Saturday), Shepparton (Sunday) and Wangaratta (Monday) each hosting rounds.

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